MIGF 2014 Review – Samplings on the Fourteenth

[Food & Beverage – MIGF 2014 Feature]

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I have been to Samplings On The Fourteenth Restaurant at Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur twice in the last few years for some pretty special occasions and I was quite delighted to note that the restaurant would be participating in the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival 2014.

You can read about my previous visits here:

https://timchew.net/2011/10/20/fine-dine-beer-with-chef-kern-by-kronenbourg-1664/

https://timchew.net/2013/12/09/food-review-christmas-menu-at-samplings-on-the-fourteen/

Located on the fourteenth floor of Berjaya Times Square Hotel and offering a great view of the surroundings, the restaurant’s main dining room seats sixty people with two private rooms that accommodate eight and twelve guests respectively.

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The restaurant serves a Classic Western menu, and is helmed by Chef de Cuisine Valmurugan Subramanian who is fondly known as ‘Chef Val’ by his peers and loyal diners. Chef de cuisine Val comes with 25 years’ experience in the hotel fine dining scene with additional experience cooking in several countries from Switzerland to Vietnam.

As a young apprentice in the late 1980’s, he steadily climbed his way to become the chef de cuisine of a Swiss-French inspired fine dine in an international chain of hotels over 20 years. Since joining Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur in 2010 as Chef De Cuisine, Samplings has received Awards of Excellence by the Malaysian International Gourmet Festival (MIGF) for ‘Most Outstanding Canapés of the Festival’ and ‘Most Creative Dining Experience’ in 2011 for the Festival Diners’ Choice Category; ‘Most Outstanding Main Course of the Festival’ for his slow-cooked Wagyu beef cheek dish, ‘Most Popular Restaurant’ for Taste MIGF and ‘Most Outstanding Soup of the Festival’ in 2012; and ‘Most Outstanding Wine Pairing of the Festival’ in 2013.

In conjunction with Sampling’s participation in the MIGF 2014 for the fourth year in a row, Chef Val has prepared an exquisite menu for diners throughout the festival period while Vice President of the Sommelier Association of Malaysia and BUCH lecturer Ronald Binati lends his expertise pairing up some wines to complement the dishes.

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The restaurant is dimly lit and is quite a good place to take your partner for a romantic night out!

The restaurant is dimly lit and is quite a good place to take your partner for a romantic night out!

You get to watch the chefs work in the open kitchen and enjoy a view of the surrounding areas. As it was raining cats and dogs outside, sadly our view out the window was pretty much obscured that night.

You get to watch the chefs work in the open kitchen and enjoy a view of the surrounding areas. As it was raining cats and dogs outside, sadly our view out the window was pretty much obscured that night.

 

Now let’s have a look at the special MIGF 2014 menu at Samplings on the Fourteenth.

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MIGF 2014 FULL FESTIVAL MENU WITH WINE PAIRING

Amuse Bouche

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An Amuse Bouche showcasing the chef’s talents and to whet the appetite for the dishes to follow!

Starter

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Rock Lobster Salad

Fennel and basil puree, lobster gazpacho, lobster terrine, asparagus and Asian pear

Sixty Drops Marlborough, Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)

Essentially lobster done three ways and I loved all the styles (I could never say no to lobster anyway!). The well-balanced and tasty gazpacho was so delicious that we took our time sipping it slowly as opposed to finishing it in one go (it was served in a shot glass). The salad was accompanied by a balsamic reduction and my focus was of course on the lobster on it which obviously went first. The interesting component of this dish was the lobster terrine (I’ve never eaten a lobster terrine before) which had a soft and jelly like texture to it but imparted lots of flavour. Went well with the asparagus while the Asian pear added some sweetness to balance out this dish.  The wine that was paired with this dish was nice, refreshing and not too dry. What a mind blowing starter indeed!

Soup

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Chick Pea Soup

Poached quail egg, broad beans and saffron oil

Presentation plays a big part in F&B because we eat with our eyes before we get to taste with our mouths. For this dish Chef Val himself came to serve us, pouring the chick pea broth around the quail and mashed broad beans which formed like an island in the middle. The aroma from the saffron oil was unmistakable and we combined all the ingredients together so that every mouthful was a contrast of flavours and textures. Beautiful yet wonderfully heartwarming without being overwhelmingly rich! Perfect for a rainy evening!

Hot Appetizer

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Smoked Duck Breast

Fricassee of mushrooms with vanilla emulsion

Barone Ricasoli Chianti, DOCG (Italy)

One thing that both Conne and I really like is smoked duck breast. Perhaps its the savoury and earthy flavours and tender textures of a well prepared smoked duck breast, and we’re no strangers to having it during fine dining meals but this was the first time that we were having it with vanilla! The earthy smoked duck breast lay atop a fricassee of earthy mushrooms and was topped with a light vanilla emulsion which lent a fragrant aroma and just that hint of sweetness to the dish. This dish was paired with the Barone Ricasoli Chianti which was round and easy to drink with a nose of ripe fruits, which added some nice contrast against the earthy/ vanilla flavours of the dish.

Sorbet

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Riesling Soursop

The combination of the Riesling and the soursop resulted in a refreshingly sour if somewhat creamy sorbet that worked well to cleanse our palate and prepare us for the main course. Loved the presentation on the shaped ice with the LED light underneath it too!

 

Main Course (choice of)

Chargrilled Wagyu Steak

Chargrilled Wagyu Steak

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Chargrilled Wagyu Steak

Braised wagyu beef cheek, bone marrow, celeriac puree, pickled apples and grapes, mache leaves, coffee sauce

Ruffino Lumina, Delle Venezie IGT, Pinot Grigio (Italy)

Both Conne and I opted for this one as we both love wagyu beef (and coffee). Now this dish has a lot going on with the festival of flavours and ingredients in it, and to our delight it was not some itsy bitsy piece of wagyu either! The beef cheek was so tender than it pretty much melted in the mouth. The steak was cooked medium rare for me and medium for her and both turned out very tender and juicy. The picked apples and grapes added some tartness and acidity to cut through the rich flavours while the coffee sauce had just the right hint of coffee (coffee can be very overpowering) in it. 

 

Or

Steamed Salmon Napoleon

Grapefruit, saffron, squid ink pasta and salsa Verde

Richard Hamilton McLaren, Cabernet Sauvignon, (Australia)

(No photos of it as both Conne and I opted for the wagyu steak)

***

Dessert

Valrhona Chocolate

Valrhona Chocolate

Valrhona Chocolate

Chocolate brownies, hazelnut mousse and passion fruit ice cream

A sinful end to a very decadent meal! The dark chocolate brownie was rich and moist while the hazelnut mousse added even more richness which fortunately was cut by the passion fruit ice cream and the berries.

 

***

Coffee or Tea

Mignardises

Price: RM398.00++ per pax

 

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A pic with Chef Val before we ended the night. He’s a really cheerful guy and happily explained his inspiration for the dishes and the MIGF 2014 menu at Samplings on the Fourteenth.

 

There are also two (2) more options for the MIGF 2014 menu namely:

 

MIGF 2014 FULL FESTIVAL MENU WITHOUT WINE PAIRING

Amuse Bouche

Starter

Rock Lobster Salad

Fennel and basil puree, lobster gazpacho, lobster terrine, asparagus and Asian pear

***

Soup

Chick Pea Soup

Poached quail egg, broad beans and saffron oil

***

Hot Appetizer

Smoked Duck Breast

Fricassee of mushrooms with vanilla emulsion

***

Sorbet

Riesling Soursop

***

Main Course

Chargrilled Wagyu Steak

Braised wagyu beef cheek, bone marrow, celeriac puree, pickled apples and grapes, mache leaves, coffee sauce

Or

Steamed Salmon Napoleon

Grapefruit, saffron, squid ink pasta and salsa Verde

***

Dessert

Valrhona Chocolate

Chocolate brownies, hazelnut mousse and passion fruit ice cream

***

Coffee or Tea

Mignardises 

Price RM198.00++ per pax and comes with a complimentary glass of wine

  

  

MIGF 2014 LIGHT FESTIVAL MENU

Starter

Ceviche of Scallops

Poached oyster in aspic jelly, trout caviar, marinated arugula and Asian pear

***

Soup

Chick Pea Soup

Poached quail egg, broad beans and saffron oil

***

Main Course

Seared Barramundi

Roasted Barramundi fish with Alaskan crab, avocado puree and chipotle tomato

Or

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Rack of Lamb with goat cheese thyme crust, ratatouille and parmesan gnocchi

***

Dessert

Valrhona Chocolate

Chocolate brownies, hazelnut mousse and passion fruit ice cream

***

Coffee or Tea

Mignardises

Price RM158.00++ per pax

 

Availability of MIGF Menu

October – Mondays to Saturdays

November – Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays ONLY

 

Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur is offering a special room rate for festival diners of any of the three offered menus. Upon paying for the bill, any two diners are entitled to stay in a Superior room for RM295.00++ for one night, subject to availability. In addition, a 10 percent discount voucher is offered for the Christmas takeaway turkey by the hotel from 1 to 31 December 2014.

 

Samplings on the Fourteenth is located at:

14th Floor, Berjaya Times Square

1, Jalan Imbi,

55100 Kuala Lumpur,

Malaysia.

 

Telephone: +60 (3) 2117 8000 ext. 8131

Website: http://www.berjayahotel.com/kualalumpur

Email: bth.samplings@berjayahotel.com

Operating Hours: 6.30pm – 10.30pm (Mondays to Saturdays)

Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays

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